The destination to be inspired isn’t succinct within the galleries of the Art Gallery of Ontario. AGO’s restaurant, FRANK celebrates Georgia O’Keeffe’s exhibit with a menu inspired by her range of works through her life, drawing inspiration from Canada to her final destination, New Mexico. FRANK’s menu draws a similar style, focusing on local and seasonal ingredients with a New Mexico flair. Specific to O’Keeffe’s own dining desires, she tended her own garden of fresh ingredients and looked to preserve the integrity of each vegetable in cooking. The Georgia O’Keeffe inspiration is seen throughout multiple menus at FRANK for brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail menus featuring ingredients such as artichoke puree and hibiscus dust.
The kitchen of FRANK Restaurant is led by AGO Executive Chef, Renée Bellefeuille and her team, with a menu representing a Canadian menu with global influences, just as diverse as our city’s culture. Supporting quality ingredients from trusted suppliers and farms are important elements to FRANK’s restaurant.
Many have the misconception that you have to purchase admission into the AGO to visit FRANK, but no, you don’t! You can dine at FRANK on its very own and enjoy their menus, and even the cinq-à-sept menu alongside Georgia O’Keeffe’s. Of course, if you choose to enjoy a dinner prix-fixe, an exhibition package with a visit to Georgia O’Keeffe’s gallery next door is $65.
mixed seed flatbread, preserved lemon, fennel fronds
nasturtium oil, hibiscus dust
fava bean, cranberry bean, grilled poblano pepper, dinosaur kale
heirloom tomato, puffed wild rice, roasted tomato vinaigrette
dandelion greens, whipped ricotta, puffed quinoa sea buckthorn, elderflower vinaigrette, kale chips
charred green onions, white bean, dill pesto
toasted sunflower seeds, artichoke and cultured cream purée
coconut mint mousse, toasted rooibos granola
chocolate and rhubarb tart
bourbon white chocolate mousse, caramelized biscuit nougatine rhubarb gastrique
Each dish presented fresh ingredients meddled by unique garnishes and flavours which we both enjoyed. Ingredients like preserved lemon and artichoke puree took me by surprise, these small additions made a particular taste to a usual dish such as a pan-seared trout.
Next, is an exploration of the AGO! We immediately went to see Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit of over 80 painted works, self-portraits and learn about her connection with her evolving surroundings. The paintings pinpoint the feelings during stages of her life, representing either light or dark imagery in flowers, landscapes and buildings. We fell in love with the colours and brushwork of her latest, inspired by the landscapes of New Mexico. Lucky for us, we snatched up one of our favourite pieces, From the Faraway, Nearby was available as a print at the shop.
For anyone that’s interested, on Wednesday from 6-9pm, visits to the AGO is free for all. You can see the available rotating art of over 4,000 pieces and take a gander at the grand stairways, it’s one of my most recommended things to do!
It’s the ideal date night, and only until July 30th! Make a visit to FRANK Restaurant for their limited-edition Georgia O’Keeffe prix-fixe menu, then a visit to the AGO to witness the influences in the exhibit itself.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the AGO. As always, opinions are mine.